Prosecutors Eye Charging SMBC Nikko over Market Manipulation

Society

Tokyo, March 8 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo prosecutors are considering seeking criminal charges against SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. over alleged stock price manipulation, using the dual liability clause under the financial instruments and exchange law, sources familiar with the investigation said Tuesday.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office believes that a heavy responsibility lies on the Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. <8316> unit, suspecting four employees of manipulating stock prices as part of their jobs for the sake of the company, the sources said.

The dual liability clause allows a company to be charged together with an employee who committed a crime as part of corporate activities.

Under the financial instruments and exchange law, the dual liability clause stipulates that a company faces a fine of up to 700 million yen when an executive or an employee manipulates stock prices as part of corporate activities or for a profit for the company, and not for personal gain.

Trevor Hill, 51-year-old senior managing executive officer at SMBC Nikko and former head of the company's equity department, and three others have been arrested on suspicion of placing a large amount of buy orders to underpin prices for stocks of five companies between December 2019 and November 2020.

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